Friday 3 January 2020

Word of the Year 2020: Belief

My word for last year was acceptance, I have written about how I fared with the idea last year here.  My word for this year is Belief. This year’s word was an easy one and a natural evolution from the word from last year.  So much of my development and growth last year has been about acceptance and self-belief.

Lots of reflection and reminiscing has led me to think about all the times I did well, all of the challenges I quietly faced and carried on moving forward with. The number of projects and jobs others put me forward for because they believed in me when I did not. 

Learning to parent my teenagers again, especially my oldest daughter, was a steep learning curve, but it also reminded me that I used to be like her - adventurous, fierce, argumentative, ready to face down the world, refusing to care what anyone thought. I look back and I can't believe how much I have mellowed, mainly due to my husband's love, my faith and perhaps being a mother of five.

More than anything else, a small number of incidents with family and friends has shifted my position on how I approach life.  Occasions where I felt powerless, unable to respond to unkindness because I didn't want to anger Allah (SWT) so held my tongue, or because I hate conflict.   Not responding caused so much hurt that it hardened a part of me.  It pushed me to recognise and reclaim that spirited part of my soul that didn’t care what anyone thought.

I have questioned myself for far too long because of my culture, my faith and my family, and it has been painful and exhausting.  I made a conscious decision to stop over thinking and over analysing myself and everything in life. To let go of the overwhelming feelings and just take each moment anew for what it was.

And not caring what anyone thought felt so, very good.

It led me to accepting myself.  All of myself.  To stop overthinking and let the guilt, shame and self-consciousness that lurks in corners of our mind and soul loosen its grip.

To make space for self-belief. Belief in my good intentions, in my capability, in my competence. Belief that I can achieve anything I set my will to. Belief that I do enough, have enough and am completely enough.

So this year, I want to believe in myself and say yes to new opportunities, to adventure, to recognition, and to some big scary goals.

Do you have a word for the year? What would yours be and why?

“[Then] when you have decided on a course of action, put your trust in Allah:  Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.  If Allah helps you [believers], no one can overcome you.  if he forsakes you, who else can help you?  Believers should put their trust in Allah” - Quran 3: 159-160

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